Kathmandu again comes up with drive planting 100,000 saplingsGreenery Management Project officials say the City will follow a proper study. Planners are against haphazard plantations.
The Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) has once again come up with an ambitious drive to plant 100,000 saplings around the city each year.
Planting 110 saplings in the newly-opened side road between Koteshwar and Jadibuti, the Park and Greenery Management Project under the KMC has begun the new drive.
“On Thursday, we planted only two species of Kapur and Swami in the area, and we will expand this drive in all 32 wards of the city,” said Navaraj Thapa, chief of the Greenery Project that was established five months ago.
However, this is not the first time that the KMC initiated such a drive. The metropolis in 2018 had instructed chairpersons of all 32 wards and 92 communities to plant saplings on the World Environment Day. The City had announced plans of planting 1,500 saplings in the open spaces, but the drive was not successful due to a lack of proper care and surveillance.
A year later, in September 2019, the City planted 500 saplings along the Tripureshwar-Durbar Marg stretch to promote urban greenery. The City had then partnered with the Nepal Army and the Department of Environment, but the plants withered within a few weeks because nobody took care of them.
“This time the working modality of the City will be different,” said Deepak Adhikari, joint spokesperson for the KMC. He said the KMC was working with organisations like the Lions Club and the Rotary Club for planting saplings in the open spaces.
“Only plants that can survive in Kathmandu's climate will be planted,” said Adhikari.
Six months after Balendra Shah became the Kathmandu mayor in December 2022, the KMC had established a separate Greenery Management Project. Earlier, the Environment Division looked after the task of maintaining greenery in the metropolis.
According to a municipal official, the metropolis has allocated Rs800,000 to buy saplings this year.
Tying up with the KMC, many organisations on various occasions have planted saplings on the roadsides. But, often, they are criticised for causing inconvenience to pedestrians through improper works, resulting in the wastage of both time and money.
Last year, the Kathmandu Valley Development Authority (KVDA), in coordination with municipal offices and local clubs, had planted saplings from Thapagaun to Dhobikhola bridge near Hanumansthan, bothering pedestrians. The move had drawn flak from public, pedestrians and urban planners.
“The City should avoid such impractical approaches,” said urban planner Suman Maher Shrestha.
Adhikari claimed that this time the City would plant saplings based on a proper study, doing that only in open spaces and on wide footpaths, without hindering pedestrians.
The City will hire a botanist for the task, said Thapa. He said the project office would do proper research on the species of plants, area of plantation and their nurturing.
Urban planner Shrestha suggests that the KMC can plant fruit-bearing trees, flowers and bushes on the roadsides without affecting traffic.
Many appreciate the greenery belt maintained between Maitighar and Tinkune. “The growth and expansion of greenery should be managed in such a way that it doesn’t disturb vehicular and other movements,” Shrestha added.